Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, has invested £250,000 in Lancashire-based eOrigen Learning and Communications Ltd (“EO”), a digital production company specialising in the creation of digital media and bespoke e-learning and training content. The funding will help EO to execute its ambitious growth strategy to launch and scale its learning and development (L&D) IT platform, INPIN™, to become an accredited global training ecosystem and create 36 new jobs.
EO was originally established to produce digital media and bespoke e-learning and training content. The company has developed a learning and development platform that is unique in terms of its potential reach and scalability across the training sector, as it brings training providers, large organisations and individual learners/employees onto a single eLearning eco-system. The award-winning company now creates actor-led training films, 3D animations and interactive multimedia e-learning courses for many Blue-Chip clients including British Airways, AMEC, EDF Energy, Sainsbury’s, NHS, RSA and RWM.
Founded by CEO, Mike Mulvihill, whose extensive film and TV experience coupled with his commercial background working on projects for large corporate clients, has resulted in EO producing award winning learning and development videos and content.
Mike is supported by a strong senior management team, which brings a broad range of complementary experience and skill-sets. Ashle Whittle, COO, has a distinguished career in information technology with sector experience spanning across retail, aerospace and government departments, having worked for organisations including BAE Systems, Telefonica, Sainsbury’s, Home Office and HMRC. Mark Trudinger, CRO, is a sales leader and an expert in innovative technology. Prior to joining EO Mark co-founded ITC, a web application business servicing customers such as Sainsbury’s, Home Retail Group and Allergy Pharmaceuticals.
Successfully developing a proof of concept (POC) project backed by the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) in 2013, EO developed a Moodle based L&D resources marketplace, Nuclear Training Network (NTN) where any training providers can upload and host their online content and end users can search and undertake any training course appropriate to their needs. The platform allows thousands of training providers across many industries to converge, promote and sell their eLearning products and learners can source and purchase their training requirements from the NTN through one simple access point. Following the success of the NTN, EO recognised the need for a broader global multisector training ecosystem. It then developed its own proprietary software platform INPIN™ to disrupt the market as first mover into the rapidly growing global training market place.
The total value of L&D spending in the UK is in excess of £21bn per year, the vast majority of which is expended internally by the public sector, large organisations and SMEs. It is estimated that £2.95bn of this spending is sub-contracted out to be delivered by c 12,300 independent training providers. A growing percentage of this overall training (25%) is now carried out online and reflects the decline in instructor-led training, which has declined from 45% to 32% since 2009. The requirement to increase employee skill levels (especially when driven by legislative and compliance requirements) and the need to control costs is driving this growth in eLearning.
Maven manages £57.5 million worth of equity finance for NPIF. NPIF – Maven Equity Finance forms part of the £400 million Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund that was launched in February 2017 as a partnership between the British Business Bank, 10 Local Enterprise Partnerships in the North of England, the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund. The Fund is now supporting the growth aspirations of high-growth potential SMEs across Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Cumbria and Cheshire.
NPIF was advised by a team lead by Napthens corporate partner Richard Robinson.
Martin Clark, Investment Manager at Maven, said: “We are delighted to support EO’s innovative L&D platform. EO is exactly the kind of business that NPIF is looking to support – its unique platform has a wide potential reach and is highly scalable, with two complimentary income streams and a blue-chip client base. The highly experienced management team led by the Mike Mulvihill has excellent contacts in the markets they are targeting, and we believe that the business is on track for rapid expansion and look forward to working with them to drive the business forward.”
Mike Mulvihill, CEO at EO, added: “We are privileged to have the backing and support of NPIF with this investment. It is an opportunity for the Company to grow and achieve its rapid growth strategy to establish INPIN™ in the global learning market place. With our award winning digital media and eLearning business we offer our customers a full lifecycle service. It is forecasted that by 2020, 50% of all training will be online. With our company scope and capabilities, we are at the forefront of this transformation and are proud to be driving this from our Head Office based in Preston”
Sue Barnard, Senior Relationship Manager at British Business Bank, said: “eOrigen is a fantastic northern business with a unique offering. We’re proud to support an organisation with huge potential, as it looks to further enhance its product range and embark on the next stage of its growth strategy.”